From craft ideas to culinary creations, there are many uses for dried flowers. Fragrant potpourri, ornamental wreaths and fancy desserts are just three of the many ways to use dried flowers. Collecting fresh, organically grown flowers when they are in season, then using a dehydrator, laying them on a screen or hanging them to dry helps insure that they will be available to use long after the fresh flowers have faded.
Edible flowers can be used in tea, fancy desserts, and meat and vegetable dishes. When picking flowers to dry for culinary use, be sure that they are edible and that they have been grown using organic methods. Most edible flowers are eaten fresh; however, there is no reason why flowers in season cannot be dried and used at a later date. The culinary uses for dried flowers can vary widely, from adding a special ingredient to tea, to decorating desserts or even being added to batter. Don't be afraid to try dried flowers on meat and vegetable dishes as well.
Moist potpourri is made from fresh flowers, but the most popular potpourri is made from dried flowers and botanicals. Creating a potpourri using dried ingredients not only allows you to display it, but there is no need to worry about the mixture molding.
The uses for dried flowers in potpourri can range from adding color or texture to adding scent to the mixture. Many dried flowers will retain their shape, especially if dried with silica gel, as well as their color and scent.
Homemade wreaths are yet another of the many uses for dried flowers. Working with dried material to make wreaths can be a bit trickier than working with fresh material. Dried flowers can be brittle. The advantage of working with dried flowers when making wreaths, however, is that you already know exactly what color the dried material will be. There is no shrinkage of plant material with dried botanicals as there often is when you work with fresh materials. Many recipes and crafts call for fresh flowers, however, it is important to keep in mind that in most cases, dried flowers can be substituted. Learning to work with dried materials does take some time and practice. As you learn how to dry flowers and work with the resulting product, you will find many creative uses for dried flowers.